"Breakin' the Ice"-"Jamaica Shout" by Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang. DECCA F 5459
Here is a newcomer to the lists, but I hope he is going to stay, for his first record is amongst the best things of the month.Louis Prima hails from New Orleans, the home town of that other Louis, and he has got together a gang of old-timers who play in an old-time way, but for all that they are as modern as most other bands. That fact ought to prove something, but I don't quite know what.
Louis plays trumpet - a whole lot of trumpet. he starts in right from the beginning. then he puts down his instrument for a chorus and sings. His phrasing, both instrumental and vocal is somwhat reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, but sufficiently different to be his own; while his tone is very definitely his own. After the vocal there is a swell clarinet passage by Sidney Arodin of the Dixieland Jazz band; some good piano by a man I don't know; and some trombone, also swell, by George Brunies, of the New Orleans Rhythm Kngs. yes these boys are really old-timers, After Brunies is through, friend Louis decides it's time for some more trumpet and carries on to the end with the band playing all-in for the last bars.
He is a crazy player, and a crazier singer, but he and his gang all march along the right road, so what does it matter?
"Jamaica Shout" is, I think, the craziest record I have ever heard: but I love it. i don't think that any one of the gang has a very clear idea of what he is doing, and I am sure that nobody cares anyway.
There is first all-in. Then Arodin, Brunies, the pianist, the drummer, the banjo player, Prima, and the bass player, all take it in turns to get away, more or less i that order. And they are all swell, particularly Prima, who goes completely mad in his last chorus.
I don't know whether or not it is usually considered complimentary to accuse a man of being insane, but from me it is the highest form of flattery - where musicians are concerned that is. If I say aman is crazy, you may be sure that I think he is very, very good. (All musicians please note, and American papers please copy)
Seriously though; "Jamaica Shout" is not jazz in it's highest form I know, but it is a grand and glorious noise. I should hardly think that Horace Henderson ever intended it to be played that way when he wrote the number, but I have no doubt that he enjoyed it when heard it. I did, and you will too, I hope.
― Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Sunday, 22 June 2003 21:45 (11 years ago) Permalink
― M Matos (M Matos), Sunday, 22 June 2003 21:46 (11 years ago) Permalink
― mark s (mark s), Sunday, 22 June 2003 21:51 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 22 June 2003 23:15 (11 years ago) Permalink